For the upcoming SIMtrace hardware (e.g. see the communication between SIM and Phone) I want to provide a patched Wireshark and packages for our host utilities to make the installation (and upgrading) very easy.
Being a happy Ubuntu user I started with launchpad, trying to create my own wireshark package. It was very easy to get source of the wireshark package, add a patch, upload it to my ppa. Then I spent some hours figuring out that launchpad does not allow 3.0 (git) git packages (it simply rejects the upload without a proper error message). My biggest issue is to figure how with one upload I could end up with packages for multiple series. E.g. simply copying the package to another series does not work due version numbers (and the need to be able to easily upgrade). So how do people provide to multiple series?
The next thing I tried was the OpenSUSE Build Service. I know that Cornelius is working on it for many years but so far I have always failed using it via the Web Interface. This time I started with an installation of OpenSUSE and used the osc application. The documentation is very sparse (there are many commands and some inconsistencies in naming) and I decided to start with the easy task of modifying an existing package. I have picked wireshark again (it was a bit difficult to find the authorative copy of it), added my patch, uploaded, and I ended up with SuSE packages. The next task was to build packages for the other RPM based distributions and as expected just adding a repository for Fedora didn't work. But here comes the power of this system. First of all the interface shows me that I have a build failure or some missing dependencies and using osc build DISTRO ARCH I can start a local build and take a look at things. awesome! And the build farm of OpenSUSE is fast as well!
The biggest problem I have with OBS is finding documentation, or google not showing it to me. E.g. the cross distribution howto always fails to come up in searches but is very valuable when trying to make your package work on different distributions.
One thing that impressed me a lot was adding a new package. I used osc mkpac placed my sourcecode there and then I had to write my first ever RPM spec file from scratch. So I typed vim libosomocore.spec and somehow I had a skeleton of the spec file present. This is very nice!